5 steps to getting over your wedding vow writer’s block

Guest post by Thren
alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Wedding Vow Book from Design Life Studio

My fiance Adam and I had no intention of keeping our vows a surprise from one another, so we collaborated a bit when writing them. Working together on them was a lot of fun — here's how we got from “I have no idea what to write” to “done!”:

1. Define vow format

We figured out the logistics of how we wanted to deliver the vows. Adam did not want to talk for a big long block of time on his own. He's a bit shy and he was afraid he wouldn't be able to pace it well. Having us swap back and forth would be easier on both of us and give us each a chance to breathe between each thing we wanted to say.

2. Consider a vow worksheet

I created a “Vow Worksheet” for each of us with the following questions to help us get the brainmeats working and thinking in terms of what we wanted to say. (I stole some of these questions from various sources and made some up.)

  • What are the three greatest things about the person you are about to marry?
  • When did you know that you were in love/know that this was the person that you wanted to marry?
  • What does marriage mean to you?
  • What will change about your relationship once you are married/What will stay the same?
  • What is your most favorite memory of your partner?
  • What are the most important things in a relationship, in your opinion?
  • What would you like the whole world to know about your partner and why you love them?
  • What would you like to promise your partner?

We traded worksheets and read each other's so that we not only had our own ideas percolating in our heads but had some idea of what the other was thinking as well.

3. Create three statements

We each created three statements of what we loved about one another (declarations of love), and three statements of something we wanted to promise one another (vows).

4. Exchange statements

We exchanged these and read one another's then went back and read our own and edited ours a bit. We repeated this step a couple of times until we were both happy with what we had written down.

5. Mix ‘n' match

I then took our three declarations and three vows and alternated them, having him make one statement, then me, then him, then me, until we had each made our three declarations and our three vows.

What I found was that, despite the fact that we wrote all six lines separately, they fit together almost perfectly, once they were lined up, with his going first and mine following. Once we read them in their alternating fashion, they flowed really well and we were very happy with them.

I edited them one last time to tweak a little grammar here and there and take out a tiny bit of redundancy, and we were done!

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Comments on 5 steps to getting over your wedding vow writer’s block

  1. Wow! These are great!

    I’ve always wanted to write my own vows (and possibly ceremony), but the idea has always intimidated me. Breaking it down into discrete steps is a really helpful starting place, and I think all of your steps are very valuable. Thanks again!

  2. Oh wow, these could not have come at a better time! My wedding’s tomorrow and my hubby-to-be and I are writing our vows tonight. We were originally going to write ours separately, but after reading this we both changed our tune. Thanks!

    • It could also be possible to follow this if you wanted to keep the vows themselves a surprise: Define the format together, use the questions to brainstorm, choose your actual statements, and just never say/show them to your partner. If you did the alternating style, you could just together decide who would go first, then order your statements accordingly.

      Personally I wouldn’t want my ceremony to feel like I’d already done it before and was performing it, which is why I like the whole keep it separate tradition.

  3. This is so cool! My husband and I didn’t want to do big chunks of talking either, we did the back and forth thing. I had never heard/seen anyone else do it that way, so it is cool to see that other people had the same idea. Your vows sound lovely, heartfelt, unique, and well organized too!

  4. Wow, perfect timing, I was just on a long drive and was trying to brainstorm in the car about how my/our vows could go, and even after the two hour drive I still wasn’t sure what way to go with it. These are some great tips!

  5. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou! Only yesterday was I trawling through sites trying to find inspiration about vows and where on earth to start. All I can say is one HUGE thankyou for this.

  6. I had writer’s block for several months leading up to the wedding. On the morning of our nuptials I woke up naturally at 7 am to find the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen out the picture window of my hotel room. I grabbed my pen and note cards and wrote my vows in about 15 minutes, starting with “This morning I woke up to watch the sun rise from the 12th floor of the most beautiful hotel in Oklahoma City…” People are still complimenting me on how heartfelt, funny and “me” they were. Just saying, sometimes inspiration comes when you least expect it.

  7. Thanks for these tips….really wonderful way to keep it insanely personal, but also keep the flow. Love these ideas.

  8. This helped me a great deal! I always thought they had to be a “surprise”. But we’re collaborating and they are touching and moving.
    Thank you!

  9. Yay!!i used your tips and now I have vows that won’t leave a dry eye in the house… If I can make it through them with my makeup intact that is!! Haha

  10. What a wonderful topic of discussion because this surely is something most bloggers go through – writers block 🙂

    I liked the ways you shared here, and while I do follow most of them when I get blank sometimes, I really believe that if you enjoy blogging and it becomes your passion with time, you have less of these blocks. I guess those who put up daily posts or every alternate days might be facing this problem.

    The key according to me lies in the fact that you should write when you are focused in your work. I don’t think your mind would turn blank then, or you wouldn’t know what to write. But I guess it differs from person to person too.

    Speaking of myself, I guess being a professional freelance writer and blogger – my work is to write! And I write a lot, whether it’s my blog posts, project work, or even replying to the comments on my blog (which are mini posts in themselves!) – all of that is writing. I never really get into such blocks, or perhaps my mind is always floating around with creative ideas that are just waiting to be penned down. However, when these is work pressure and pending projects etc., and when there’s stress all around – I do experience writers block, though it’s rare.

    Thanks for sharing these ways with us.

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